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Quick Hits: Worlds, PK, TIFH for May 15

May 15, 2019, 7:25 AM ET [106 Comments]
Bill Meltzer
Philadelphia Flyers Blogger •NHL.com • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Quick Hits: May 15, 2019

1) 2019 IIHF World Championships: Team Austria remained winless at the World Championships, suffering a 4-0 setback against Switzerland on Tuesday. The Swiss team dominated much of the play but the Austrians stayed within a 1-0 deficit until midway through the third period. Flyers left winger Michael Raffl played a physical and unusually feisty game and was one of the few Austrian players who was able to buzz in offensive zone but it was to no avail.

2) Team USA (James van Riemsdyk) will take on Great Britain on Wednesday. The British team has gotten a rough indoctrination to the level of play at the elite level of international hockey, going 0-3-0 so far and getting outscored by a combined 20-1 in the process. On Tuesday, Denmark crushed Great Britain to the tune of 9-0. Team USA is currently 5th in the Group A bracket, but a regulation win (3 points) on Wednesday will put the Americans in a more comfortable position with three games (vs. Germany, Canada and Denmark) remaining in the round-robin phase.

3) One big reason for the Flyers' extreme streakiness in recent years has been the equally extreme streakiness of the team's penalty killing. As noted in a recent blog, the team's overall season numbers have been below-average in the years following an 84.7 success rate (ranked 7th leaguewide) in 2013-14. Looking inside the numbers, there were segments of several seasons -- ranging from roughly one-quarter to one-half of the campaign -- in which the PK was not a major issue. However, when things went wrong, the leaks became a deluge of opposing power play goals. Here's a year-by-year segmented breakdown from 2014-15 through 2018-19.

2014-15: 77.1% (27th)
1st Half: 74.8% (30th)
2nd Half: 79.5% (22nd)

2015-16: 80.5% (20th)
1st Half: 78.3% (24th)
2nd Half: 83.1% (12th)

2016-17: 79.8% (T-20th)
1st Half: 81.3% (18th)
2nd Half: 78.3% (23rd)

2017-18: 75.8% (29th)
1st 18 GP: 80.0% (T-17th)
Next 46 GP: 73.1% (30th)
Final 18 GP: 77.3% (18th)

2018-19: 78.5% (26th)
First 21 GP: 68.5% (30th)
Next 58 GP: 84.2% (6th)
Final 3 GP: 66.7% (27th)

4) May 15 Flyers Alumni birthdays: Jim Mair (1946), Wes Walz (1970).

5) Today in Flyers History: Two franchise-changing events in team history took place on May 15. On May 15 1973, the Flyers reacquired the NHL rights to Bernie Parent from the Toronto Maple Leafs after Parent spent the 1972-73 season in the World Hockey Association with the Philadelphia Blazers. On May 15 1984, Flyers captain Bob Clarke announced his retirement as an active player to become the team's general manager. For more, click here.
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